No one likes to feel their life is out of control. This is especially true in regard to finances. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable position, you may want to take this advice on how to gain financial self-control and get your life back on track.
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Financial experts recommend having a minimum of three months’ salary saved for emergencies. Unfortunately, many people choose to spend everything they have rather than saving for a rainy day.
How do you decide whether to splurge on something or to save for something you know you’ll need in the future? No one can tell you what the best choice is for you, but they can guide you to look at each situation, decide if the item is something you want or something you need, and then decide if you can wait to make the purchase.
Learning how to save money is as important as knowing how to meet monthly financial obligations. Gaining financial self-control comes down to making decisions. But how do you learn that if you’ve never been successful at showing financial self-control in the past?
Advertisements tell you if you want something you deserve to have it “now.” They play into your desire for immediate gratification. In the end, this may lead someone to make poor financial choices.
Here are some ways to gain financial self-control:
* Live below your means.
You don’t have to have the best items available. Choose lower-priced items that will be just as good as the higher-priced items, but for less money.
* Pay yourself first.
This is common advice, but it’s true. Begin saving for your future. Set aside a minimum amount from each pay period and leave it except for true emergencies.
* Create self-imposed spending limits.
One method to help with this is to use envelopes with money in them. If you have $45 remaining after paying monthly bills for groceries, rather than taking your credit card with you, take only the envelope with that money in it. You won’t be able to spend more than the amount you have with you.
* Allow for a cooling-off period.
This is especially important for larger purchases. Can you wait until you have saved for it? Ask yourself if the purchase is 1) necessary, 2) practical, and 3) emotional. If your television has stopped working it may be necessary and practical, but it’s most likely emotional if you want to buy the largest one in stock.
* Learn to tell yourself and your family “no.”
This may not be easy, but if you want to gain financial self-control it’s something you’ll have to learn to say and then stick to it. Don’t be afraid to tell them a purchase they want to make isn’t in the budget.
* Cut up your credit cards so you don’t add anything else to the balance.
If that seems too drastic, put them in a plastic bag, fill it with water, and then pop it into the freezer. Is the purchase worth the time and effort of defrosting the card?
No one is going to tell you that gaining or regaining financial self-control is going to be easy. It won’t be. There will be times you or a family member will want something and you won’t be able to get it. Remember, however, the value of having financial self-control and choosing the right thing instead of the easy thing.